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VAT and Islamic finance Challenges and policy approaches

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Mohammed Amin. Mohammed Amin is an Islamic finance consultant. Previously he was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and led their Islamic finance practice in the UK. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: VAT and Islamic finance Challenges and policy approaches


1
VAT and Islamic finance Challenges and policy
approaches
Sixth Meeting of the Middle East/North Africa Tax
Forum - Doha
  • Mohammed Amin
  • November 2015

2
Presentation outline
  • Disclaimer
  • Project organisation
  • Recap on VAT
  • Four modelled transactions
  • VAT issues
  • Individual country approaches
  • Principal recommendations
  • Q A

All VAT in examples at 20 for simplicity
3
Disclaimer
  • Taxation is a complex subject and almost all
    issues require specific professional advice.
  • Nothing in this presentation is intended to
    constitute professional advice.
  • The speaker accepts no responsibility to anyone
    who may act, or refrain from acting, as a result
    of anything shown or said during this
    presentation.

4
Project organisation
5
Participants and goals
  • Sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre
  • Organised by International Tax and Investment
    Center
  • Principal researcher Mohammed Amin
  • Outputs
  • Report on VAT and Islamic finance
  • This presentation

6
Project path
  • Project initiated in 2011 with goal to
  • Identify tax obstacles to Islamic finance
  • Provide policy recommendations
  • Project team Mohammed Amin, Hafiz Choudhury and
    Salah Gueydi
  • Phase I completed in 2013 with London workshop
  • Phase II now builds on Final Section of Phase I
    Report
  • Focus on VAT and cross border tax treatment

7
VAT approach in Phase II
  • Theoretical analysis
  • Informed by country reviews
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • All three have specific VAT legislation for
    Islamic finance
  • United Kingdom
  • Governed by European Union harmonised VAT law
  • No specific VAT legislation for Islamic finance

8
Sponsor Qatar Financial Centre
  • The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is an onshore
    business and financial centre located in Doha,
    providing an excellent platform for firms to do
    business in Qatar and the region. The QFC offers
    its own legal, regulatory, tax and business
    environment, which allows 100 foreign ownership,
    100 repatriation of profits, and charges a
    competitive rate of 10 Corporate Tax on locally
    sourced profits.
  • The QFC welcomes a broad range of financial and
    non-financial services firms.
  • For more information about the permitted
    activities and the benefits of setting up in the
    QFC, please visit qfc.qa
  • _at_QFCAuthority Facilitatingsuccess

9
Mohammed Amin
  • Mohammed Amin is an Islamic finance consultant.
    Previously he was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoop
    ers LLP and led their Islamic finance practice in
    the UK.
  • He is
  • a chartered accountant
  • a chartered tax adviser
  • a qualified corporate treasurer
  • Amin has spoken on Islamic finance in over 20
    cities covering every continent except
    Antarctica. Many of his articles and
    presentations on Islamic finance can be found on
    his website
  • www.mohammedamin.com

Slide 9
10
Recap on VAT
11
Value added tax
  • A tax on value added
  • Charged at each stage of the production / sales
    chain
  • Applies to supplies of goods and services
  • Borne by the final consumer

Slide 11
12
The value chain
Wages and profits
50
Price 100
Mining business
Manufacturing business
Extract raw materials from own mine
100
Price 150
Wages and profits
Final consumer
Earth
Slide 12
13
VAT for miner
Price 100
Mining business
VAT payable on sales value of 100 at say 20, tax
20. Output tax 20 Tax base 100 value added
in the business.
Extract raw materials from own mine
100
Wages and profits
Earth
Slide 13
14
VAT for manufacturer
Wages and profits
50
Price 100
Manufacturing business
Charge 20 VAT on sales price of 150. VAT charged
30. Output tax 30 VAT paid on 100 raw
materials, 20. Input tax 20 Pay net 10 to tax
authority.
Price 150
Final consumer
Suffers VAT of 30 on 150 price
Slide 14
15
Four modelled transactions
Slide 15
16
Structures analysed
Islamic finance structure Conventional analogue
Commodity murabaha / tawarruq Bank loan
Ijarah sukuk (onshore and offshore SPV) Issuing a tradable bond
Salaam Pre-paid committed forward purchase of goods
Istisna Construction finance
17
Commodity murabaha or tawarruq
Immediate sale with deferred payment
Bank
Customer
105 paid in 12 months time
100 paid today
Overseas
Murabaha contract
Frontier
Sale for immediate payment
Sale for immediate payment
100 paid today
Your country
Commodity seller
Commodity buyer
18
Ijarah sukuk with onshore SPV
Frontier
Charity
Issue sukuk
Pay issue price 100
Investors
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
Periodical payments representing SPVs profits 5
Sell building
Pay price 100
Note Unwind transactions at end of sukuk not
shown.
Lease
Pay rent periodically 5
Owner
Your country
Overseas
19
Ijarah sukuk with offshore SPV
Charity
Issue sukuk
Pay issue price 100
Investors
Overseas
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
Periodical payments representing SPVs profits 5
Frontier
Sell building
Pay price 100
Lease
Pay rent periodically 5
Note Unwind transactions at end of sukuk not
shown.
Your country
Owner
20
Salaam
Bank
Promise to purchase the goods when they become
available - wad
Overseas
Frontier
105 paid in 12 months time
Your country
Goods sold and delivered in 12 months time
100 paid today
Goods produced and delivered in 12 months time
Salam contract
Customer seeking goods in future for own use or
trade, requiring finance
Supplier of goods capable of being fully
specified e.g. farmer
21
Istisna
Overseas
Frontier
Building or ship sold when finished, assume 12
months
Your country
Bank
Customer wanting building, ship or similar
105 paid in 12 months time
Second istisna contract
Building or ship, ownership passes when finished
100 paid in stage payments
Note Here the istisna contracts run for only 12
months. In practice likely to be for longer.
Price paid under second contract set to give
appropriate profit rate to bank.
Istisna contract
Construction company, shipbuilder or similar
Note As an alternative to the second istisna
contract, there could be a wad given by the
Customer, promising to purchase the building when
finished.
22
VAT issues
Slide 22
23
Commodity murabaha supplies
Bank
Customer
2
3
1
Commodity seller
Commodity buyer
24
Salaam supplies
Bank
1
2
Customer seeking goods in future for own use or
trade, requiring finance
Supplier of goods capable of being fully
specified e.g. farmer
25
Istisna supplies
2
Bank
Customer wanting building, ship or similar
1
Construction company, shipbuilder or similar
26
Ijarah sukuk supplies
Charity
Does SPV supply land to Investors ?
Investors
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
Sell building
Sale of building by SPV back to Owner not shown
Lease
1
3
2
Owner
27
Key issues
  • Financial services taxable or exempt?
  • Usually exempt
  • Results in input tax restrictions on banks
  • Treatment of supplies in Islamic finance
    transaction
  • Countries differ in approach
  • South Africa
  • Malaysia
  • UK
  • Singapore defines Islamic finance to exempt the
    finance charge

28
Individual country approaches
Slide 28
29
United Kingdom (1)
  • No special rules for Islamic finance
  • VAT law decided at EU level
  • Disclosed price increase treated as exempt supply
    of finance.
  • VATA Sch 9 Group 5 Item 3
  • The provision of the facility of instalment
    credit finance in a hire-purchase, conditional
    sale or credit sale agreement for which facility
    a separate charge is made and disclosed to the
    recipient of the supply of goods.

Slide 29
30
United Kingdom (2)
  • Supplies of goods in Islamic finance remain
    taxable
  • Special rules for terminal markets (commodity
    warehouses)

31
UK simple murabaha
2
Bank
Customer
Price 105 Exempt 5 Taxable 100 VAT
20 Customer pays 120 5 125
1
100 VAT 120
Commodity seller
32
UK commodity murabaha
2
Bank
Customer
Customer pays 120 5
Sale for 100 VAT 20 if Customer in business If
Customer not in business?
1
3
100 VAT 120
Commodity seller
Commodity buyer
33
Malaysian GST law
  • Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 section 5
  • 5. Where any person makes a supply of goods or
    services under an Islamic financial arrangement,
    any supply made in such arrangement other than
    the provision of financing shall be treated as
    neither a supply of goods nor a supply of
    services.

34
Malaysia commodity murabaha
2
Bank
Customer
105. No GST
100. No GST
1
3
100. No GST
Commodity seller
Commodity buyer
35
Malaysia simple murabaha?
2
Bank
Customer
100 5. No GST?
Customer would have paid 100 20 GST 5 interest
125 with conventional loan
1
100. No GST?
Commodity seller
36
Malaysia simple murabaha as practiced
120 5 125
3
Bank
Customer
2
120
1
Bank pays seller 120
Seller sells to customer. GST applies. 100 20
GST 120
Commodity seller
37
South Africa
  • Value Added Tax Act 1991 section 8A
  • Bank deemed not to acquire the goods
  • Client deemed to acquire the goods from seller
  • Deemed price amount paid by bank to seller
  • Markup exempt financial service

38
South Africa simple murabaha - actual
Bank
Customer
Sale for 105 GST?
Sale for 100 GST?
Commodity seller
39
South Africa simple murabaha - deemed
Exempt financial service 5
Bank
Customer
Deemed sale for 100 20 GST
Commodity seller
40
Principal recommendations
Slide 40
41
Define IF transactions
  • Key Phase 1 finding
  • Malaysian government defines what is Islamic
    finance
  • UK tax law never mentions Islamic finance
  • Reason for defining IF transactions
  • Enables much simpler drafting of tax law
  • Ensures special tax rules only apply to Islamic
    finance transactions

42
Role of regulated entities (1)
  • Banks and takaful operators are always licensed
    and regulated.
  • Require regulated Islamic financial institution
    (IFI) to certify participation of all its
    counterparties in IF transaction.
  • Law can then enable
  • Sale from Supplier to IFI without VAT.
  • Sale from IFI to Customer without VAT.
  • Sale by Customer to market without VAT if bank
    acts as Customers agent.

43
Role of regulated entities (2)
  • Regulated IFI can report all transactions and
    counterparties to tax authorities.
  • Minimises compliance risk of permitting Islamic
    finance sales without VAT when regulated IFI
    involved.

44
When no regulated entity?
  • UK direct tax law for Islamic finance requires a
    (regulated) financial institution, apart from
    sukuk provisions.
  • Otherwise relevant tax provisions not applicable.
  • Islamic finance between persons in business who
    are VAT registered basically works.
  • Use UK approach of treating markups (for payment
    delays) as exempt supplies.

45
Participants not in business
  • What if Customer (retail individual) not in
    business
  • See previous commodity murabaha problems.
  • Proposal
  • Enable Customer to charge VAT on his sale, up to
    amount of VAT paid on Customers purchase.
  • Avoids penalising Customer.
  • Minimises compliance risk. Customer pays VAT to
    his supplier, collects only same amount (or less)
    from person buying from him.

46
Watch for new developments
  • Tax authorities need to monitor development of
    new Islamic finance transactions.
  • Specific legislation may be required at times.
  • Islamic finance transactions fall into different
    logical types.

47
Categories of IF transactions
Transaction category Legislators approach
Very similar to conventional finance transactions Special consideration probably not needed.
Peripheral transactions associated with an IF structure Analyse, check for unexpected problems,
IF transaction has very different structure to conventional transaction Careful analysis needed to avoid VAT costs for exempt businesses and retail consumers
Jurisdictions adopting a legal form approach
are likely to encounter more areas of difficulty
than those adopting an economic substance
approach.
Slide 47
48
QA
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